Best Persian Desserts and Sweets to Try in Iran
Persian cuisine is not just about kebabs; there are a variety of local dishes, vegetarian food, traditional drinks, and delectable desserts and pastries.
In fact, Iran is a paradise for food lovers. Particularly, among various delicious Iranian foods, Persian desserts and sweets hold a special place among locals and even tourists.
Traditional Iranian sweets are an integral part of our feasts and ceremonies. As a result of this love for sweetness, delicious local sweets exist in almost every city in Iran.
These traditional sweets in Iran are so delicious that they are taken to other cities as souvenirs of that city.
So, join us in this article to know more about the best Persian desserts and sweets you must try in Iran. Also, we reveal their ingredients, the best places to find them, their approximate prices, and if they are vegan- and vegetarian-friendly.
Gaz (Persian Nougat)
Gaz, the delicious Persian candy, also known as Persian Nougat or Pistachio Nougat, is the traditional sweet of Isfahan. This traditional Persian sweet resembles Torrone, the classic Italian Nougat, but it is relatively softer. As it turns out, it is a sticky, rose-scented nougat full of crunch pistachios and almonds that’s chewy somehow like a marshmallow. To prepare this Persian sweet, the Isfahani confectioners simmer sugar, corn syrup, egg whites, and rose water in particular large pots. Then they add the Nuts (usually pistachio, almond, or a mixture). Finally, they form the sweet in different shapes and pack them.
Interestingly, you can see the process of preparing this Iranian sweet and taste the warm Gaz in the Isfahan’s Gaz workshops in Naghsh-e Jahan Square. So, do not forget to taste Gaz or buy it as the Isfahan souvenir on your visit to this city.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Nuts (Pistachio, Almond), Egg White, Rosewater
Qottab (Ghotab) of Yazd
Sweet lovers will never find a better place than Yazd because Yazdi sweets (Shirini Yazdi) are somehow the iconic part of the city.
One of the most popular Yazdi sweets is Qottab, dating back to the late Qajar period. Qottab consists of two parts, the crispy outer layer, and the soft filling. To prepare this delicious Persian sweet, the locals first make dough with flour, oil, egg, milk, and cardamom. Then the dough is filled with almond, walnut, powdered sugar, and cardamom and shaped into a small ball. Lastly, they fry the sweets in oil and roll them in pistachio, almond powder, and sugar. Notably, you can find the other versions of Ghotab with different ingredients and shapes.
Ingredients: Flour, Oil, Egg, Milk, Sugar, Cardamom, Almond, Pistachio, Walnut
Pashmak (Persian Cotton Candy)
Pashmak, the Persian Cotton Candy, is one of the most delicious Persian desserts you can find the best of it in Yazd. However, it is a traditional sweet in Tabriz as well.
The confectioners prepare this Persian sweet by combining sugar, flour, oil, cardamom, and other flavorings in a machine that gently pulls the mixture into thin threads. You can find Pashmak in different shapes and flavors, such as plain saffron and chocolate Pashmak.
So, while you are in Yazd, we recommend tasting the various Pashmak types and buying them as a souvenir.
Ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Oil, Cardamom, Flavorings
Loz and Baghlava Yazdi
Loz is a diamond-shaped Yazdi sweet, coming in different colors and flavors such as Coconut Loz, Almond Loz, Pistachio Loz, and Saffron Loz.
Notably, Baghlava (Yazdi Baklava) is like Loz, but it’s a different pastry. It consists of layers of dough and crunched nuts (pistachio, almond, and walnut) cooked together, covered with honey and syrup, and flavored with cardamom and rosewater. It is traditionally presented in diamond-shaped cuts and decorated with crunched pistachios.
Loz and Baghlava are super sweet and moist and are mainly served with Persian tea.
You can buy a colorful collection of all types of Loz plus Baghlava in a small metal box as a Yazd souvenir.
Ingredients: Flour, Egg, Milk, Oil, Butter, Almond, Pistachio, Walnut, Sugar, Cardamom, Rose Water, Milk (in Baklava)
Nogha (Tabriz Nougat)
Nogha is a kind of Nougat and one of the most famous and delicious Tabriz sweets. This traditional Iranian pastry consists of Mikado bread sugar, honey, and nuts. You can find different flavors of Nougat in Tabriz, including vanilla, walnut, cocoa, chocolate, and nutty flavors.
Ingredients: Honey, Sugar, Egg White, Nuts (Walnuts, Pistachio, etc.), Vanilla, Mikado bread, Butter
Ghorabieh (Qurabiya) of Tabriz
Ghorabieh, a soft and chewy almond Macaroon, is a delicious Tabriz sweet. Like Macaroon, it is considered a luxury and expensive pastry. This fancy pastry is cooked in different cities of Iran, including Tabriz, Qazvin, and Zanjan, and also in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
You can buy this traditional Persian sweet as a Tabriz souvenir at the bakeries located in the Tabriz bazaar.
Ingredients: Egg, Almond, Pistachio, Sugar
Halva is one of the most famous Persian desserts that is usually served at special ceremonies. Different kinds of Halva are prepared in the Middle East, but Iranian Halva is unique.
This popular Persian dessert comes in different types, but it is usually soft and sweet, consisting of flour, oil, and sugar as its main ingredients. Iranians prepare this delicious Persian sweet by frying flour and adding sugar, oil, etc., to the pot. They simmer all the ingredients and decorate the final dish with nuts. Rosewater, cardamom, and saffron give this Iranian dessert an excellent taste no one ever forgets.
Interestingly, tourists who have tasted Iranian Halva consider it one of the most delicious Persian sweets.
Ingredients: Flour, Oil or Butter, Sugar, Rosewater, Saffron, Cardamom, Nuts, etc.
Ranginak (Date Walnut Dessert)
In southern Iran and along the Persian Gulf, date trees are abundant. So, one of the favorite Persian desserts made from dates is called Ranginak, which can be found in the south of the country.
To prepare Ranginak, Iranians roast the flour until it goes golden. Then, they add oil and butter to the pot. Next, they fill the dates with walnut pieces, place the dates in a dish and pour the mentioned topping on them. Finally, they decorate the plate with cinnamon, powdered walnut, and sugar.
Ingredients: Date, Walnut, Oil, Butter, Cinnamon, Powdered Sugar
Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)
Sholeh Zard is a sweet pudding made from saffron, sugar, sliced almond, and rice. Traditionally, this sweet Iranian dessert is made during Ramadan and religious ceremonies.
To prepare this Persian dessert, Iranians boil the rice until it becomes mushy. Then they add sugar, saffron, butter, rosewater, and sliced almond and let it simmer. Finally, they decorate the dish with cinnamon, sliced almonds, and pistachios.
Iranians write the name of God, the prophet, or Shia Imams on Shole Zard dishes with powdered cinnamon in religious ceremonies.
Ingredients: Rice, Sugar, Saffron, Sliced Almond, Rosewater, Cinnamon, Butter
Zoolbia Bamieh is a traditional Persian sweet prepared exclusively during Ramadan, when you can find it in restaurants and confectioneries all over Iran. This Persian dessert consists of two crispy Persian pastries; Zoolbia and Bamieh. Zoolbia consists of starch, yogurt, oil, sugar, and saffron. To prepare it, they mix starch and yogurt, spiral the dough into hot oil, and fry it. Then they put it in a syrup consisting of sugar, rosewater, and saffron.
On the other hand, Bamieh is a kind of Persian doughnut deep-fried and covered with the same syrup.
Ingredients: Starch, Egg, Yogurt, Oil, Flour, Saffron, Rosewater, Sugar, Lemon Juice
Bastani Sonnati (Traditional Persian Ice Cream)
Ice cream is said to have been invented by the Persians in 400 BC. However, the present traditional Persian type of ice cream, called Bastani Sonnati, was introduced by Akbar Mashti (a Tehrani confectioner) in the 1950s. This Persian sweet that foreign tourists always fall in love with consists of vanilla, saffron, rosewater, pistachio, frozen cream pieces, and Salep ( extracted from wild orchids). Iranian serve Bastani Sonnati alone or with ice cream bread. Besides, You can try a combination of this Persian dessert and Faloodeh (a kind of sweet frozen noodles).
Interestingly, the Akbar Mashti Shop, the legacy of the inventor of traditional Iranian ice cream, still stands in Tehran, on Tajrish Square.
Ingredients: Salep, Milk, Sugar, Cream, Saffron, Rosewater, Sliced Pistachio
Masghati is one of the tasty Persian desserts originating from Fars Province and Shiraz. This delicious pastry is a kind of pudding consisting of starch, saffron, oil, sugar, nuts, and aromatic ingredients. Masghati is cooked in different textures and flavors. In Shiraz, Masghati is soft and jelly-like and is usually served with a kind of cookie (Koloocheh); The combination is called “Koloocheh Masghati.”
On the other hand, “Masghati Lari,” the one produced in Lar (a city in Fars Province), is sweeter and stickier than the Shirazi one.
Ingredients: Starch, Sugar, Saffron, Cardamom, Oil, Nuts, Rosewater
Faroodeh is a frozen Persian dessert that originates from Shiraz. Basically, it’s a mix of rice noodles, sugar, and rosewater, and Iranians flavor it with lemon juice or sour cherry syrup. You can also order Faloodeh and Bastani Sonnati (Persian Traditional Ice cream) together, a lovely combination.
Notably, you can buy the best of this Persian sweet from the ice cream shops located behind the Karim khan Citadel.
Ingredients: Rice Noodles, Sugar, Rosewater, Lemon Juice, or Sour Cherry Syrup
Sohan Asali (Honey, Nuts and Saffron Caramels)
Sohan Asali is one of the most popular sweets in Iran and one of the main pastries of Iranian feasts during Nowruz (Persian new year).
This delicious sweet is a kind of crispy caramel full of nuts cooked in the cities of Qom, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, and Kerman.
The first step to preparing Sohan Asali is caramelizing honey, oil, and sugar and then adding nuts until golden brown. Then they pour this liquid caramel into small coins on a tray and allow it to cool. As you can see, since it does not contain dairy and eggs, Sohan Asali is a Persian vegan sweet.
Of course, there is another type of Sohan known as Sohan-e Qom, the best of which are prepared in Qom and Yazd. This type of Sohan consists of wheat germ, oil, egg yolk, pistachio, cardamom, and saffron.
You can taste other types of Sohan, including Sohan Halvai, Sohan Gazi (a combination of Gaz and Sohan), butter Sohan, Sohan Pashmaki (a mixture of Sohan and Pashmak), etc. during your trip to different Iran destinations.
Ingredients: Sugar, Oil, Saffron, Honey, Nuts
Kolompeh (Date Cookie)
Date cookies are among the delicious Iranian sweets produced in different shapes and flavors in southern Iran, where dates are found in abundance.
In the meantime, Kolompeh is the traditional pastry of Kerman, a kind of date cake that is very delicate and delicious. The cookie dough ingredients include flour, oil, yogurt, and saffron, and as you can see, the dough does not contain sugar. Kolompeh filling is a mixture of crushed dates, walnuts, cardamom, and cinnamon. These cookies are skillfully decorated by hand and garnished with pistachio powder in Kerman.
Ingredients: Flour, Oil, yogurt, Saffron, Dates, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cardamom, Cinnamon
Details about Persian Desserts and Sweets
In the table below, you can see where are the best places to try the Persian desserts and sweets, and their approximate prices. Also, you will find out if these desserts are suitable for vegetarians and vegans or not.
|Persian Dessert||Where Can you Find the Best||Suitable for Which Diet?||Approximate Price|
|Gaz||Isfahan||Vegetarian (Dairy-free)||From 15 USD per kilo|
|Qottab (Ghotab)||Yazd||Contains dairy and egg||From 6 USD per kilo|
|Pashmak||Yazd||Vegan (Dairy- and egg-free)||From 4 USD per kilo|
|Loz and Baghlava Yazdi||Yazd||Contains dairy and egg||From 7 USD per kilo|
|Nogha||Tabriz||Contains dairy and egg||From 5 USD per kilo|
|Ghorabieh (Qurabiya)||Tabriz||Vegetarian (Dairy-free)||From 12 USD per kilo|
|Halva||Different kinds all over Iran||Some versions contain egg and dairy||From 4 USD per kilo|
|Ranginak||Shiraz, the Persian Gulf Coastal Cities||Vegan (Dairy- and egg-free)||From 7 USD per kilo|
|Sholeh Zard||All over Iran, during Religious Ceremonies||Vegan (Dairy- and egg-free)||From 4 USD per kilo|
|Zoolbia Bamieh||All over Iran, during Ramadan||Contains dairy and egg||From 3 USD per kilo|
|Bastani Sonnati||Tehran||Vegetarian (egg-free)||From 3 USD per kilo|
|Masghati||Shiraz, Lar||Vegan (Dairy- and egg-free)||From 7 USD per kilo|
|Faloodeh Shirazi||Shiraz||Vegan (Dairy- and egg-free)||From 3 USD per kilo|
|Sohan Asali||Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan, Qom, Kerman||Vegan (Dairy- and egg-free)||From 7 USD per kilo|
|Kolompeh||Kerman||Contains dairy and egg||From 3 USD per kilo|
Finally, please ask your questions or share your comments about the best Persian desserts and sweets. We appreciate your valuable comments, and they will also be useful to others.
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